Grand Teton National Park, WY
Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitors Center, July 15-21
This story was featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art July 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art July 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Grand Teton National Park is the setting for the annual Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters show and sale this month. For 10 days, participating artists fan out across the magnificent terrain to capture fleeting moments of summer light illuminating the mountains, valleys, and wildflowers that grace the park. Forty member artists from across the country are participating in the various events, including Patti André, Robert Hagberg, Carol Jenkins, Jeanne Mackenzie, Dave Santillanes, John Taft, Russ Tanner, and Cecy Turner. Among the guest artists this year are Mitch Baird, Bill Davidson, John Hughes, and Bart Walker.
Regular participant and Montana-based artist Aaron Schuerr describes the Tetons as “a wonderland for plein-air painters.” And since artists often work in isolation, sharing the experience makes painting on location even more rewarding. “Together we paint with more focus and resolve, encouraged and challenged by each other,” Schuerr says. “And, perhaps most importantly, this is such a friendly group. We paint together because it’s fun, and that’s reason enough for me.”
A preview takes place on Monday, July 15, with each artist displaying one or two paintings at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitors Center. But the plein-air show officially kicks off on Thursday, July 18, with a gala reception and awards presentation. Two paintings from the evening’s festivities will become part of the park’s permanent collection. Also, a small section of this year’s show is devoted to paintings by Greg McHuron, a group member who was instrumental in bringing the organization’s events to the park before he died last year.
Colorado-based artist and RMPAP member Cydney Springer says she relishes the excitement connected with the show’s opening night. “It is always so astounding to see that week-long snapshot of extraordinary Teton paintings done by such extraordinary artists,” Springer says. “I always feel so humbled and honored to be included. I get such a boost as an artist that week, and I truly look forward to it every year.”
On Saturday, July 20, from 9 to 11 a.m., art lovers can watch as the artists create paintings in the popular Quick Draw event at Menor’s Ferry. The paintings are then offered for sale from 11 a.m. to noon.
Forty percent of the proceeds from painting sales at all events benefits the Grand Teton Association. Founded in 1937, the association donates 100 percent of its profits to the park’s educational, interpretive, and scientific research programs.
“It is a thrill and a pleasure to be back in Grand Teton National Park and working with the Grand Teton Association again this year,” says Stephen C. Datz, RMPAP president. “The park is truly a painter’s paradise. We welcome the opportunity to continue the artistic tradition there and, in so doing, benefit the exceptional educational efforts of the Grand Teton Association.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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